Dangit… how do I justify whipping up/indulging in/writing about ice cream in December, yet again? Ah! I actually have several good excuses! For one: I’m just weird like that. Ice cream in Winter, viciously hot Chili con Carne when the sun puts on her best battering ram impression. Secondly: In times like these… who doesn’t need a delicious little pick-me-up every now and again?
And, last but not least: ‘Tis the season! Cozy evenings, the occasional several-course meal entre nous in desperate need of a palate cleanser or simply long nights of gaming in need of refreshments. ‘Tis also the season for this years’ star of the Ice Cream in Winter Show – one that presented me with the perfect opportunity to bring another recipe from Tyria to life in about two shakes of a lamb’s tail!
Prickly pears are widely available these days, ready to sting unsuspecting shoppers. When I walked by a ginormic box of these idling by next to a heartily cursing shopkeep who had evidently just realized what the “Cactus” in “Cactus Figs” as they’re called over here, was all about, I just couldn’t resist relieving him of some of the offenders. After putting my gloves on. Before a handful of the remaining fruit undoubtedly met an untimely end at a convenient wall.
Aaaanyways, let’s get this show on the road! Just a quick word before we start – have a look at my Tropical Fruit Salad Recipe over here in case you’ve never dealt with them before to see how to safely handle Prickly Pears/Cactus Fruit and avoid ending up like the poor fellow at the store.
The Prickly Pear Sorbet
400g Prickly Pears – grab 500-600g while shopping for them and make sure to measure their weight after removing their seeds, see below for details
2 large, juicy, yumtastic Passionfruits – remember: the wrinkly ones are the ones you want for a full blast of flavor
2 Tbsp Fine Baking Sugar
2 Tsp Liquid Glucose
2 Tsp Honey
2 Tsp Lime Juice
Non-Boozy Alt: Apple Sprizz or something I’ve discovered quite recently: Lemonade made from Chardonnay Grapes! Check the largest/best sorted Organic Food Store in your area
1) Scrape out the pulp of both passion fruit and prickly pears into the jug of your blender or a stick-blender friendly, high rimmed container of sorts.
2) Give the fruit chunks a quick blitz. Don’t go puree’ing the whole lot, just whizz it up enough to separate the seeds from the pulp.
3) Place a fine sieve on a mixing bowl and tip the contents of your blender into it. Grab a rubber spatula and strain the lot through the sieve into the bowl to remove the seeds.
4) Just in case you’ve grabbed hold of a particularly seedy bunch of cactus fruit, weigh the pulp again to be sure and adjust the amounts if necessary. That, by the way, is how the passionfruit came into the picture – I ran out of cactus fruit the first time I made this one and the only thing I had on hand were passionfruit. As you can see, they stuck~! They add that little hint of fruity acidity that firmly stamps the dot on the I.
5) Transfer the pulp back into the blender and add the sugar, glucose, honey and lime juice.
6) Whizz the lot into a silky smooth purée and, once that’s done, gently fold in the bubbly of your choice.
7) Once well combined and still bubbly, transfer it into a sorbet container of your choice.
So far I’ve tried, tested and repeatedly used ice cube moulds, ice lolly moulds, simple air-tight containers like for any other ice cream, my heart-shaped mini springforms and clingfilm-sealed cookie cutters (not sure what possessed me there…). All of them work, all of them end up being crowd pleasers, take your pick and go wild~!
8) No matter which container you pick, slowly pour the mixture in leaving a ½ cm rim at the top to allow for expansion and pop the soon-to-be sorbet into the freezer for roundabout 5-7 hours until it’s frozen all the way through.
9) In case you’re going with the ice lollies, freeze them without sticks for about 1 hour- until the sorbet is just solid enough to support a lolly stick. Gently push the lolly sticks 3/4 of the way into each lolly mold and place them back in the freezer. That way you’ll steer clear of crooked or unstable lollies~
P.S.: If you have more Sorbet Mix than space in your freezer… or if you just can’t wait!